Compliance: More words

A complete farce?

What do you get after a week's negotiations by the joint working group on compliance? Even lengthier text with more brackets.

The compliance mechanism will have two branches - enforcement and facilitative. The rather audacious demand for larger representation of annex I parties in the enforcement branch has now been extended to the facilitative branch as well (see story: Polluters turned monitors, Equity Watch, Special Edition # 1, November 15). It is suggested that seven members in this branch are from annex I countries, and three are non-annex I.

Compliance procedures will now apply only to the Kyoto Protocol and not to commitments under the convention. It is currently proposed that the following articles come under the purview of the enforcement branch  

  • Emission reduction targets (article 3.1) 

  • Policies and measures undertaken at national level to meet commitments (article 2 and 3)   *

  • Minimising adverse impacts of response measures on developing countries (article 3.14)   *

  • National systems for estimation of emissions (article 5.1, 5.2)   *

  • Communication of national inventories on emissions (articles 7.1, 7.2, 7.3 and 7.4)

It is yet to be decided whether the decisions of the enforcement branch, which will have either 4 or 5 members, will be adopted by a majority of at least three quarters of the members of the branch present and voting. If the number of industrialised country representatives is higher in this branch, the compliance mechanism will be a complete farce - the defaulters will decide if they are to be punished!

No breakthrough has yet been achieved on what happens in case of non-compliance. One option is a pre-determined contribution into a compliance fund. The G77 has suggested that this should be equal to 60 per cent of the market value of one carbon tonne, multiplied by the total number of carbon tonnes by which the party has exceeded its assigned amount, or should be a determined number of dollars for each exceeded carbon tonne, whichever is greater. A 30-page text will now be forwarded for the ministerial negotiations.